Sweet potatoes have become a staple in my house as of late.
My daughter (6 months) has just started down the journey of solid foods, so it’s veggie central in my kitchen. We have squashes, pumpkins, broccoli, avocados, apples, carrots…you name it, she’s tried it. A lot of people start their babies on purees before solid food but my girl is not about that life. Something about the mushy texture of puree, she’s not a big fan.
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So we’re following a method called Baby Led Weaning. The concept is basically that they eat what you eat. For example, instead of carrot puree, she gets a steamed carrot stick that she can munch and suck on and figure out how to eat in her own time. And let me tell you she loves it. She goes IN on some roasted broccoli, it’s hilarious.Baby-Led Weaning, Completely Updated and Expanded Tenth Anniversary Edition: The Essential Guide―How to Introduce Solid Foods and Help Your Baby to Grow Up a Happy and Confident Eater
Because of all this newfound baby veggie time, we’ve had our hands on more sweet potatoes than we usually keep around. It’s not that I don’t normally like sweet potatoes, I love them. They’re loaded with Vitamin A, rich in beta-carotene and so delicious. But with my husband’s Irish background, I have a hard time getting anything on the table besides good old Idaho’s without some sort of protest.The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook: Delicious Recipes That Will Help Your Baby Learn to Eat Solid Foods―and That the Whole Family Will Enjoy
So it was funny when I was approached about making Sweet Potato Pie with Italian Meringue for Colavita’s Live Cooking Show on Facebook and Instagram. Perfect! I’ve got tons of sweet potatoes lying around!
Now, Colavita is an Italian olive oil company, so they make their pie crust with olive oil instead of butter. I can tell you I was a bit hesitant to try it but I was quickly converted! It’s delicious! Different, but totally yummy and still nice and flaky like you get with butter. You can find the recipe for the Olive Oil Pie Crust here. If you’d like an all butter crust, grab the recipe here.Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 12-Cup Muffin Tin / Nonstick 12-Cup Cupcake Tin – 12 Cup, Gray
Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet Potato Pie reminds me of my all time favorite, Pumpkin Pie. They are both (believe it or not) custard pies, that are set with egg. Sweet potato pie is smooth, creamy, slightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg but the shining star is the sweet potato. It’s a delicious treat for dessert (or breakfast!).
We thought we would shake it up a bit and make mini pies. Now that the US is settling back into quarantine, we have less need for bigger pies for a crowd and more use for little guys for the family. Make a bunch and go drop them at friend’s houses as a little “Thinking of You Gift”. We have to do what we can to stay close as the winter closes in and we’re forced to stay indoors.
- After you’ve cooked and mashed the sweet potatoes, run them through a fine mesh strainer to really push out all the lumps.
- The meringue can be a bit finicky but if you cook the sugar to the soft ball stage you should be good! Use a candy thermometer or use the bubbles to gauge when it’s time to pour into the egg whites. When the bubbles get large before popping then the sugar is ready.
- Use a piping bag to get a nice perky mound on top of each pie, and the back of a spoon to swirl it up and around.
These mini Sweet Potato Pies are perfect for a holiday gift for friends and family. Topped with Italian Meringue, they are smooth, creamy and perfectly sweet.
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled (about 1 3/4 pounds)
5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
3/4 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup evaporated milk
- 4 ounces egg whites
5 tablespoons sugar
¾ cup sugar
- Line a cupcake tin with Olive Oil Pie Crust.
- Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until very tender, about 45 minutes. Drain well.
- Mash the potatoes in a bowl. The potatoes should yield about 2¾ cups mashed potatoes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add butter to hot potatoes, and mash until smooth. Push the potatoes through a fine mesh strainer to remove the lumps.
- Add sugar, nutmeg, egg and vanilla, mixing well. Combine baking powder with evaporated milk, and stir to blend. Add to mashed potatoes. Whisk mixture until velvety. Mound into pie shell, then spread evenly to edges.
- Bake until pie has set and is lightly browned on top, about 45 minutes.
- For the meringue, place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Place ¾ cup sugar in a small saucepan and add just enough water to cover the sugar. Turn the heat to high and at the same time, turn the mixer to medium speed.
- While the sugar cooks, whisk the whites to frothy.
- Once frothy turn the speed of the mixer to medium high and add 1 tablespoon of sugar at a time, whipping constantly to build a thick white meringue.
- Once the whites are thick and white, you want your sugar to be at a soft ball stage or 235 F. You can use a candy thermometer to measure, or scoop a bit with a cold spoon and drop it into ice water to test if it’s done. If it’s ready, the sugar will form a “soft ball” or be pliable. Be careful not to overcook or you will end up with caramel.
- With the mixer running at medium high, pour the hot sugar down the side of the mixer bowl, avoiding the whisk. Whisk on high until the mixture has risen, then dropped and cool.
- Top each baked pie with meringue. Serve at room temperature.
Use mini pie tins or a cupcake pan to make individual pies. You can also use this recipe to get a 9″ pie.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Pie
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: thanksgiving, pie, recipes, vegetable, sweet potato, fall recipe, dessert recipe, meringue, italian meringue